A tree grows in Arkansas | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, July 30, 2006

A tree grows in Arkansas

Posted By on Sun, Jul 30, 2006 at 4:25 PM

This just in from Garvan Woodland Gardens over on Lake Hamilton:

Rare, Subtropical Tree Blooms
At Garvan Woodland Gardens

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Not many living things in the Natural State – be it humans, animals, or plants – can tolerate without some consequence, the all-too-frequent hot, humid days that are indicative of an Arkansas summer.  Yet, at the masterfully landscaped Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, there is one unusual tree that appears to be thriving in the extreme conditions, while its neighboring plants drop their blooms and curl their leaves in protest of the scorching sun and oppressive heat.  So rare is the Emmenopterys henryi tree that, until recently, it was the only specimen known to have bloomed in cultivation in the U.S. and remains one of the few in outdoor cultivation to have flowered.
    Planted in the early 1980s by garden benefactress, Verna Cook Garvan, the “henryi” tree blooms inconspicuously near her beloved rose garden, where hundreds of tourists pass by daily unaware they are observing a rare, deciduous plant that may be almost as illusive as the endangered, if not extinct, ivory-billed woodpecker, that is reported to have been sighted in east Arkansas in 2005.
    Native to Burma, Thailand, and China, the specimen is related to the gardenia and coffee plant.  The white, wing-like bracts (colored leaves) surround a cluster of white to pale yellow, fragrant flowers.     
Noted Chinese plant explorer, E. H. Wilson, who discovered the Emmenopterys henryi tree in 1907, regarded it as the finest of all Chinese flowering trees.  In his early description of the species, he documented that the pink bracts subtending the flowers, set against dark black-green foliage, turn the Chinese forests pink.
    The timber wood of the Emmenopterys henryi tree can be used in the construction of houses and furniture.  Unfortunately, due to the disforestation for farming and over-logging in the lower and middle subtropical mountainous regions, as well as low germination ratio, these trees have decreased significantly and are rarely seen.
According to Garvan Woodland Gardens’ resident landscape architect, Bob Byers, the blooms appear in the heat of the summer, usually late July and August. 
As if to protect itself from handling by curiosity seekers, the blooms of the Gardens’ Emmenopterys henryi tree are located in the upper tier of the 15’ tree and are easily overlooked.   “This is only the third time I have seen it bloom in my ten years of directing landscape projects at Garvan Woodland Gardens,” remarked Byers.  “If anyone wants to catch a glimpse of this infrequent, flowering tree, now is the time.”
Garvan Woodland Gardens, a department of the University of Arkansas School of Architecture, is sculpted from a 210-acre, heavily forested peninsula on Lake Hamilton and surrounded by 4 ½ miles of pristine shoreline.  Admission prices are $7 for adults; $6 for seniors (55 and older); $4 for children (ages 6 to 12); and free for children ages 5 and younger.  Located at 550 Arkridge Road, the Gardens are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. 


Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by sbutts

  • Full service

    Aristotle, the big LR internet design and service company, is getting into the full-service ad agency/marketing game, complete with PR, print, TV and on-line marketing, radio and podcasts, direct-mail and e-mail marketing.Scott Crider, a veteran in the Little Rock agency business, will head up Aristotle Integrated Marketing.
    • Jan 22, 2007
  • In-freaking-credible

    The AP is reporting HDN as a possible successor to Bill Parcells with the Cowboys.
    • Jan 22, 2007
  • Search and destroy

    The Washington Post is reporting that a small group of American military personnel went into southern Somalia to see who got killed by the airstrike carried out earlier this week.
    • Jan 12, 2007
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • The LR chamber does the public's business. Is it accountable? Blue Hog on the case.

    Matt Campbell, lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jay Chessir, director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Mark Stodola related to the publicity stunt yesterday  built around withdrawing from the mayor's rash pronouncement that the city would seek an Amazon HQ2 project even though the city  didn't meet the company's criteria.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • Presidential thriller, co-author Bill Clinton, coming to bookstores in 2018

    June 2018 is the expected publication date for a novel collaboration by former President Bill Clinton and crime writer James Patterson.
    • May 9, 2017


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation